The Smudge of Grief

Smudgez

Having extricated myself from the river of grief (and now on a boat floating on it)* I’ve also noticed its smudge is everywhere. Having done a small bit of work on my relationship to grief I see it now as slightly separate from me. There are few people who are completely free of grief’s smudge, though through denial we like to think that we are. It’s only those who are working on being present that may have overcome grief’s longer-term effects.

In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss

Many become fully immersed in the river of grief and never fully release it, but think that we have done so. It’s more likely that we live it’s smudge without knowing its stuck or smeared on us and we carry it with us everywhere. We’ve resigned ourselves to it, accepted it and cognitively reframed grief as a fact of life to assist in our survival.

In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss throughout the life span. Only those who have achieved a modicum of mastery or a state of transcendental enlightenment may have overcome the savagery of grief’s toll.

Symptoms from the smudge of grief:

  • Longing for / romanticizing the old days and angry about current life in juxtaposition to the old days. Anger becomes a way of life possibly oscillating between grief (sadness), fear and anger. Attachment to the old romanticized “past” to the point of putting the brakes on politically and a desire to return to the promise of simpler times.
  • Giving up or trading in on simple happiness in the present for a perfectionist idealized past or future.
  • Addicted to a substance outside ourselves (not drugs or alcohol per se) that we believe will make us happy and feel secure (more money, better job, etc.). Existential addiction is about filling a hole inside us that has grief as one of its contributing emotions.
  • Rationalizing and compartmentalization of grief experiences. We often unconsciously model our expressions of grief based on our parents’ behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. The greater the intellectualization / fearfulness of “weaker” emotion states such as vulnerable emotion states – crying when sad, or frustrated then the more shame and constriction may become part of the grief process often truncating the process.
  • We often have expectations that the stages of grief happen “in-order” one time and “we’re done” with this.
  • I’ve seen many people in mid-life 40s to 60s (possibly younger) where grief is interrupted – a person shuts down their grief process and gives up on their inner world collapsing into their parents’ belief systems partially or whole-heartedly. It is at this time that they begin to romanticize their past and adopt old-world belief systems to cope with change.

For the people that allow for grief or any emotion such as love or joy to come and go they have loosened their attachment to past and present experiences and can face the fear of change in a less rigid fashion. However due to our ego we are all subject to attachments that grief and/or loss creates to one degree or another.

Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives.

Grief is closely allied with attachment. The very nature of being human is an identification to an idea, a person, a relationship – in short to the “stuff” of life. Attachment is the foundation of identity and memory is its tool. Attachment is at the root of unnecessary suffering. The greater the attachment to a person, wife/husband/partner, a child/son/daughter, a family, a community; a job, to an idea, to a belief and so on the more grief surrounds the loss. As humans we are all programmed to avoid feelings of loss to one degree or another based on our identity and beliefs.

Humans cannot bear loss.

Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives. Some loss we choose, such as quitting a job or relocating, this doesn’t seem so bad because we feel in control of the nature of the loss. Nevertheless, we still feel it. Deciding to move out of a relationship and although this is a loss we control it can break our heart. Other losses go deeper. The loss of a loved one through death is one that immediately comes to mind. When we experience early childhood trauma such as mental, physical, spiritual and/or sexual abuse by a parent or relatives perhaps this is the most pernicious grief of all. A parent with whom we feel love perpetuates an act of sexual abuse or worse. There is the love and there’s the violation, the confusion and the grief. This is loss and grief based on intimate attachments.

Loss and grief have become systemic in an increasingly divisive world of the hierarchical system of the patriarchy. In this kind of world there are winners and losers. The winners appear to be the super-rich and the powerful who sometimes even without knowing it oppress those without money and/or power. Many are driven to become winners through achievement and there is nothing wrong with this. It becomes insular and selfish when “others” who may be termed as losers through attributes of laziness, stupidity and are therefore cast out of the privileges of the winner-loser competition. Those deemed to be unworthy of playing the winner loser game are the invisible people, the poor, the people in prison, the homeless, women, minorities, immigrants, the list goes on; under the heel of racism, sexism, ageism, leftism for example. The class system in the USA has always been apparent to those left out. The struggling middle-classes bear the brunt of the heel of oppression by the rich by accepting less wage parity, while clinging to the myth of “work hard and you’ll succeed”. The winners are also losers because of attachment to and /or the addiction in this situation because of the need for more power, more money, more fame. There is never enough. Slavery to “more” makes the so-called winners, losers on an endless wheel of acquiring “more”.

our birthright is happiness and enlightenment

Humans cannot bear loss. Addiction is a prime example of how loss is unbearable. When therapies focus on what’s in the way of a healthy lifestyle in order to assist with healing an addiction this leads to an inevitable confrontation with loss. Looking at loss in this way is emotionally overwhelming. Healing the addictive process through a focus on obstacles fails. We can’t bear loss. This spans the gambit between addictive substances and relationships. In order to confront loss and the grief we feel from loss, we must replace the loss with something positive. When we focus on the positive replacement of the loss in present time then loss can be slowly ameliorated.

For example: I chose to breath cleaner air when I weaned my way off of smoking cigarettes. The clutching, grabbing neediness in me began to fade. It’s been 37 years since I chose to breathe cleaner air instead of inhaling smoke from cigarettes. That was easy compared to the heartbreaking work of releasing grief from the wounds of incest.

Underneath loss and grief is love. Love holds all other emotions. I also remember the words of Malidoma Somē – grief is the most common human emotion.

Attachment can only be released for a very short time.

Grief is the most common emotion because our lives appear to be about loss. As children of Western Civilization, we a trained to look outside ourselves for happiness. Even in the US The Declaration of Independence we are encouraged to push for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We don’t necessarily see that our birthright is happiness and enlightenment and that we are peeling away the illusion that prevent us from feeling it. We assume that feelings of fulfillment, peace and enlightenment are “over there” to pursue.

Corporal life is temporary, life of spirit transcends death. There is small love and big love, neither of which can be compared with the other. Small love may feel big when we have a partner with whom we are bonded and they pass away, cheat, or betray us and/or themselves. Big love will always hold a connection with one that has passed that seemingly impenetrable boundary of death. The longing may be excruciating and unbearable, staying present and reaching out to friends and professionals for help is one step in staying present. It’s not the only path.

Emotional maturity (EM) can be characterized as being able to hold contradictory emotions in awareness without a strong attachment to either emotional state and feel okay or neutral about our self. Cultivating a witness self leads to emotional maturity through suspending judgement and observing ourselves and our behaviors.

 

Attachment can only be released for a very short time. When we think or say “I” ego returns to claim an experience that the witness has observed.  That is not a bad thing it is only the way of attachment. The witness may observe our being feeling grief and joy simultaneously. This is a paradox to be sure.

 

*see previous article –

in a river of grief, then on a boat

 

 

 

 

releasing chronic anger and underlying grief

abstract beads blur bright
a web of connection

Anger serves a purpose as a defense against immediate threats in present time. The emotion is often produced in conjunction with fear. Fear is experienced and is often followed directly by an acting-out anger response. Boys and men are more accustomed to this way of behaving because it is condoned and often encouraged by the fabric of society – namely patriarchal norms.

The way many children were raised in the 1950s and early sixties by fathers’ who had returned from WWII with undiagnosed PTSD was through a reign of terror often accompanied by addictive problems to alcohol, drugs and anger/rage. The children of those parents were subjected to constant anger and as adults have often adopted maladaptive patterns of chronic anger.

man couple people woman

When terror is unleashed on a woman or on children repeatedly over long periods of time – fear, anger and depression may be the result. In addition to an emotional stance in the world many of these women and children many somaticize some or all of these emotions. The emotions become tensions in the musculature and skeletal structure of the body and are sequestered from the conscious mind.

The nature of most humans is to avoid discomfort whether it manifests as physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual pain. In so-called developing and developed nations an immediate response to pain is to take a pill for it. “Make it go away.” “Fix me.” “Stop this now!” “I can’t stand this any longer” are some of the responses to physical and emotional pain or discomfort. Pill popping, alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking, crack/cocaine use, and any kind of addictive process is an effort to escape the effects of immediate pain. I am not advocating the non-use of responsible herbal or pharmacological methods of reducing or managing extremes of pain I am only pointing out a pattern to behavior regarding pain.

Some cultures especially indigenous peoples treat pain in a different manner than in the “Western Post-Modern” cultures. Explorations into pain can sometimes produce a release of it that can be freeing as well as act as a release from immediate pain.

I followed the role-model of my father’s rageful behavior while being terrorized by it simultaneously. I vented rage at my sisters’ cats by chasing them under the couch and hissing at them; I felt so angry. It was the only safe place I could vent the rage I felt. For many years I clenched my jaw because “I felt determined” as other people were to reach their goals. I incorrectly assumed that because other people had their mouths closed that they were clenching their jaws too, and were also determined. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that I realized that these were incorrect assumptions and that I felt extremely angry all the time.

Like any addict the rage would go underground until it erupted into a tantrum usually against a significant love relationship with whoever I was with at the time. I began to work with these feelings and worked to let them go as they arose. As I worked traumas from my childhood were revealed to me. I worked through these too as best I could until I reached a plateau.

Recently I have come to see that triggered anger/rage that arises both from awareness of injustices and from chronic anger has served to keep me isolated from others. As a child I was extremely isolated. And now I have been isolated (and stuck) in part by choice. However I have started to work with the chronic anger anchored in my body in order to uncover and release the profound grief of past traumas.

I have been preparing for this voyage into the release where I have kept myself separate from others and as a result have been stuck in a place of miserable safety.

Part of the preparation for this deep grief release work was a letting go of a reflexive need to comment on every post where my friends were venting their anger and frustrations on our so-called “president”. I didn’t want to participate in my addictive anger /rage venting that felt fruitless to make any real changes. The eliciting of the anger/frustration/rage and grief due to the actions of the president felt like I was allowing myself to be:

  • Pulled down to his level of nastiness
  • Giving him attention on an emotional level that feels like time not well spent (even though he is not witness to my outrage).
  • Feeding my addictive behaviors including a need to be right at the expense of making others wrong
  • Isolating myself from those that – mildly disagree with me to the extreme of people who vehemently disagree and maybe even hate me.
  • Isolating myself from feelings that bridge a gap between peoples
  • Stuck in a familiar cycle of known misery.

 

black and white picture of a crying child

Choosing not to participate in “president” bashing is one way to look for more effect means of protest and there are many ways in the nuts and bolts world of emails to representatives, supporting candidate campaigns and so on… I try to funnel my outrage into useful means of action, and I am human I sometimes succumb to bashing and raging.

everything is connected neon light signage

On Saturday evening November 16, 2019 while working on releasing anger and grief something happened. I welcomed the memory of a physically healthy emotionally fractured seven-year-old me back into my body where I could protect him and he could help me heal metaphorically. There was much tenderness love and connectedness in the healing metaphor. I felt my body open spontaneously and released compassion towards a friend on social media and then go beyond towards others in pain and suffering. Love was breathed in and out.

I didn’t know whether my friend received the compassion but to release it felt good to me and hopefully good for him.  And hope it was good for all the others it may have reached. The connection was strong and solid. The act of connecting on many levels was wondrous and highly recommended.

 

Sunday – The Gateway 7-28-19

 

The inconjunct or quincunx is a 150 degree angle. When two inconjunct angles focus on a planet or asteroid approaching from opposite directions and joined by a sextile angle of 60 degrees. This is called a Yod. When multiple Yods are configured in a chart in a certain manner a Star of David can manifest. This is an uncommon event. Below is a Star of David absent one sextile of a 5 basic triangular yods (duplicated x1 to make 6 yods).

A star of david- almost
Figure 1 almost a “Star of David”

 

Gate-7-28

Mars / Juno and Moon inconjunct Saturn

Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power, could represent a power struggle of an explosive nature that is both passionate and stubborn with breakthrough elements of heart-oriented action

Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power could represent a breakthrough in a power struggle at work or in your personal life. Get in-touch with your emotions utilizing passion and balanced emotions to confront authority.

 

Neptune and Saturn inconjunct Mars / Juno 

Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power, when the power is balanced great advances can be made, when a controlling obsessive-compulsive is present then the destiny element of this ‘finger of god” may be blocked deception may be used to seize power illicitly. On the higher plain high ideals and authority/accomplishment can motivate actions that combine with partnership energies to breakthrough illusions of deceptions to bring darker or shadowy elements to justice.

Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. Today avoid using mind-altering drugs or alcohol as they may help cement illusions and delusions and allow you to feel deceived by anyone you have ceded power to or are in a struggle with, this could happen between friends or in a close intimate relationship creating strife and conflict on the lower vibrational end. On a higher plane when the energies are balanced then the powers of crisp spiritual mysteries and an ownership of your own story can allow you a feeling of divine safety in actions especially those related to cooperative partnerships.

 

Neptune and Vesta inconjunct Pallas Athena 

Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. On the higher vibrational side this could indicate a spiritual base service coupled with a driving commitment to champion the oppressed and/or vulnerable. On the lower side this could portend use of dark energies with the use of drugs or powerful illusions to punish the oppressed and/or vulnerable peoples in the world.

Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. This a good day to avoid the use of mind altering drugs or alcohol. Practice mindfulness – remember yourself and your breath as you ground and work on being of service to the vulnerable aspects of yourself and others. By applying this sensitivity you can act as an example bringing inspiration to being of service to your higher self. By not doing reality checks – practicing good communication skills you could fall prey to wanting to control indulging in righteous fashion.

 

Jupiter and Pallas Athena inconjunct Vesta 

Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. International beneficent forces and the power of the oppressed unite today to give birth to a new energy of service that could work on multi-levels: 1. Open new financial markets and opportunities for investments; 2. Allow yin and/or feminine service energies to accept help from the international community and create a birth of new powerful movement of empowerment for the oppressed and vulnerable; and 3. Create a new world-wide movement to free expression. The reverse could also be true on a lower vibrational scale – utilizing a power and money to suppress movements towards freedom.

Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. By allowing for inspiration to occur without excessive grandiosity there can be a rebirth in friendships and intimate relationships. On the lower side – identifying and becoming attached to the need to be right, indecisive and rigid is a way to stop communication and put up walls. If you find this happening, go within and find the core of your innocent, remind yourself of what inspires you and how that inspiration is connected to others.

Some problems with consciousness, humans and the human brain

timelapse photo of trees with background of star

Inevitable Reductionistic Thinking    Trying to explain consciousness from a neurobiological and / or a quantum physics frame is one of reductionistic directionality. Each discipline looks to the brain as the origin of consciousness. A human perspective quite naturally seeks to reduce in order to explain and this is natural from the ego perspective of control. Ego is the center of consciousness just as it was once thought that Earth was the center of the solar system – all planets and the sun revolved around Earth.

Consciousness is everywhere and permeates everything and the spaces between everything [see end note 1]. And therein lies the rub. Consciousness is space-time. It’s impossible to grasp from an ego or ordinary level of consciousness. This concept of consciousness is bigger than any concept. Even if consciousness was only a finite substance it would be impossible to jam it into something as small as a human brain.

Human Life as a Transceiver  The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness in the current form of recycled thinking and memories that make a core attachment to a self in one lifetime. Short-term memory and habits built from long-term memory create attachment built on illusion of time and ego/self and are thought to be “real”.

night computer hard drive hdd
We can’t help to pictorially reduce “a picture” of memory from a storage device,  but shared memory in the larger neural net is infinite.

When people die and leave their bodies they become a part of a larger consciousness but often do not directly perceive the larger consciousness due to their attachment to their most recent incarnate self. They live and function within this higher consciousness state that exists outside of time and space and yet has a relationship to time and space through the process of reincarnation. It’s very difficult for us as humans to perceive a level of functioning without time or space. Corporeal existence is predicated on the boundaries of space-time in a finite reality at least with immediate perceptions.

round grey framed black lens sunglasses on yellow petaled flower plants

Evidence of evolving consciousness in the finite world may be impossible to measure, but it may be known in the consciousness state after death. In space-time we eat food to survive and maintain our bodies through digesting food and making energy. Where is the consciousness that is aware of the energy-making process from the digestion of food? It doesn’t ordinarily exist. The analogy here is the same as the absorption of energy into the state of “life-after-death”.

  • Conscious suffering (without attachment) creates energy
  • With work energy may be stored for a continued creation of energy
  • The energy is light.
  • Upon death energy or light is absorbed into the consciousness
  • Consciousness evolves

Almost 100 percent of suffering is unconscious and is wasted. Attachment to suffering whether noble or ignoble (positive or negative) is nearly inconsequential with regard to making energy. Some individuals through fear and/or anger use up the energy needed to “cross” to “the other side” and so remain here as ghosts. Much of the love – light – energy created can be cancelled out by negative emotions preventing passage, but if enough light-energy remains a passage may occur to “the other side” [see end note 2]. Releasing attachment to suffering doesn’t mean that the suffering will not cause pain, anguish and grief to name a few. Also, there is no automatic release of energy from a release of attachment that floats into higher consciousness. If attachment is released and the ego gets hold of the sensation then talk about it inevitably follows (a different sort of attachment) and the energy is wasted.

Humans, Memory, Consciousness and Attachment   Attachment is the block to enlightenment and is needed for enlightenment.

Attachment to thoughts and feelings that compose the consciousness of the core self may be the definition of the human self in corporeal form. Memory plays a key role in assisting and reinforcing attachment to a core self and / or ego. Formation of memories and our attachment to them give our identity a place in space-time. Memory is the foundation of linear time as our existence. Without attachment and memory there would be no sense of self and no time, at least as we currently define it. Attachment may not exist without memory, and consciousness is also bound by memory in our corporeal state.

bureau bureautique trombones secretariat

Incarnation from one life to another is often an interruption of memory of a previous life or lives and those memories that immediately preceded birth. During the “life after death” process it could be that the attachment to the previous life is released enough so that an individual consciousness can separate from the whole and be reborn. It could be that no identity or a sketchy identity exists so that when conception occurs life before is either forgotten or obliterated. Or it could be that there may be conception trauma: a formless consciousness is suddenly attached to a fertilized egg and the resulting trauma severs the connection to all that happened before and to the larger formless consciousness.

Forgetting could serve a purpose of creating a new self not entirely based on old attachments and allowing an opportunity for energy to be created for higher consciousness.

The separation from a possible oneness sensation in higher consciousness in order to return to it after death allows spaces for energy to be formed and stored to be “eaten” by higher consciousness.

Humans are currently attached to the idea that we are humans and therefore the importance in being a human. Higher Consciousness allows humans to be created repeatedly through reincarnation with a hope that an awareness will grow into a force of consciousness while in human form to feed the higher and perhaps achieve enlightenment.

The nature of being human is to be attached. This is neither bad nor good. When we begin to become aware of our attachment and work on releasing it in the moment, knowing it will come back to us when we think or know ourselves – our ego – when we think or say: “I”, “me” “mine”. When repeated actions to release attachment occur through our work a greater awareness becomes available and eventually states of, or a continuum of enlightenment may manifest.

As humans in the current vibrational cycle on the low side in the chaos pattern of transformation the common belief is that we are all separate. The world right now is straining and breaking the concept of separateness so clues of unity are emerging and becoming evident. The reactions vary between optimism of the unknown and pessimism of the unknown thus the schisms in early 21st century culture and increases in separateness. Pessimism, unexamined or repressed/rationalized grief and disillusionment bring many fearful peoples cling to the illusion of separateness an every person for themselves ideology. While that is true from a limited finite mindset, the ideas of quantum mechanics are emerging from the background. One tenet of the quantum world is that consciousness creates the world around us and that matter and energy are connected. Knowing that we are not separate many save us from the existential world threat – or the extinction of the human and many other species.

adventure climb clouds cloudy

Examining memory related illnesses can reveal how consciousness, memory and time are connected. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are clear examples of how persons with this disease lose their sense of self and time through savage memory losses. Dementia appears to be less savage than Alzheimer’s because a sense of self is maintained over a longer period in a variety of age regressive memories or sub-personalities. Alzheimer’s seems more aggressive because it destroys the memory of self much more quickly than dementia.

I had an opportunity to have lunch with a family where an elder male was in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s. At the time it didn’t feel like an opportunity but a battle for survival: mine. His personality was confused and frantic partially because there was no place in his body while in a crowded restaurant to find home. He repeatedly attacked my body’s perimeter. I had to coax him back into his own body. When we finally left the restaurant, he returned to near his own body and was lightly tethered there like a horse outside a saloon in an old western tv show. The attack was persistent, wild, chaotic, confused and desperate but not personal. I was firm in protecting my space and not letting him in and insistent on him going back to his body with some healing to help him stay.

The opportunity came after the incident in as much as there is an electromagnetic field that supports our neural net outside the brain. It is social and identifies with the safety of friends and family. His neural net was looking for home. He could not find it in his own family because they were emotionally chaotic within themselves due to his disease in the midst the chaos of the general business of the restaurant. He found it (home) in my calm demeanor as a healer and shaman.

 

Some end notes

Consciousness is everywhere.

Our brains and the perceptual facilities our brains, egos, memory and space-time affords us are the synaptic hubs where consciousness is processed through a biological human self.

blue and red galaxy artwork

From a larger perspective we sample each life from a large and formless consciousness that is infinite and feeds the individual in a finite context. This limited context is life as we ordinarily know it. When we can release our attachments to suffering and allow the friction of approach-avoidance conflicts inherent in all suffering to be released energy can be created and stored. It can be stored for the honing of consciousness within our biological human life form to be carried with us into the afterlife.

When we have created enough energy throughout many incarnations we then have a choice whether to return to life on Earth or continue the adventure of consciousness in the largest of venues – in the infinite.


Note 1:

In reality there is no space between objects that isn’t already connected via electromagnetic energy or by some other force to something else. The “space” within our arms for example is the space in atoms which can be perceived as a particle or wave depending how one perceives it.

 

Note 2:

Humanoid Consciousness expresses itself repeatedly through many lives in an effort to release the attachment to suffering and work to create energy. If the energy created is stored then its release happens upon death into a greater consciousness. If a person had stored a vast amount of light from the next to last or previous lives but had squandered energy in the most recent life – upon death they might have access to the deposits of light made in previous lifetimes. If that is the case they not only are able to cross over but may be released from “having to return” in another incarnation. Those that return by choice are often referred to as bodhisattvas.

The Ultimate Sleep Hack – so far…*

woman sleeping
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

taking the pressure off of going to sleep by going for optimal rest.

 Introduction

You’ve probably noticed the incredibly stressful world we now are required to function within at our best. There’s no way to maintain a stress-free life all together unless you engage in a prolonged meditation retreat – maybe. One of the best ways to cope with stress, anxiety, sadness or any other negative emotion is a multifaceted approach:

  • Tolerance – building a tolerance to stress and anxiety
  • Cultivating a compassionate neutral witness within
  • Meditation for an anchor to peacefulness / mindfulness throughout the day
  • Paying attention to and heeding our bodies

We put pressure on ourselves constantly. Some of this pressure is good when we need it to accomplish tasks and goals. Pressure becomes counterproductive when we threaten ourselves and our bodies with too much of it. This could be true of when we get ready to go to sleep at night; the pressure we’ve put on ourselves during the day spills over into the night and sleep becomes difficult and sometimes impossible. If we have chronic difficulties falling and staying asleep we may reach for prescription pharmaceuticals / supplemental sleep aids to fall and stay asleep, or we may use street drugs.

Taking downs to get off to sleep
And ups to start you on your way
After a while they’ll change your style
I see it happening every day

Oh spare your heart
Everything put together
Sooner or later falls apart
There’s nothing to it, nothing to it

From Everything Put Together Falls Apart © 1972 by Paul Simon

The downs can easily translate into alcohol or a prescribed medication at night and coffee and/or energy drinks throughout the day.

After I became caffeine free the first time and my energy level balanced out I saw that coffee didn’t give me more energy, it just took the energy I had and bunched it up because there was always an inevitable crash. My sleep patterns were the worst for it too. Working swing shift and nights didn’t help either.

Then I began taking control of my sleep which meant taking control of other aspects of my life too:

The Ultimate Sleep Hack So Far 

Change the name of going to sleep to Optimal Rest instead of pressure for sleep. If you fall asleep during your optimal rest period it’s a good bonus.

caffeine can disrupt your sleep up to 11 hours after you drink it

I’ve worked for over 20 years in the mental health field facilitating groups on relaxation, meditation, and sleep hygiene (no, this does NOT mean washing yourself while you sleep).

Sleep is part of a daily cycle. Children and teenagers need more sleep sometimes up to 10 or 11 hours. Adults average about 8 hours up to the age of 55. Those over the age of 55 can get by with less sleep – about 6 hours, yet 8 hours is still optimal. These figures are not set in stone and there are always exceptions to every “norm”.

Your bedroom should always be slightly on the cool side

Since the time of the industrial revolution mainly the advent of electric light and more recently television, computers, smart phones and the internet the natural rhythms of our bodies have been disrupted due to light pollution.

 

Immediate Preparations for Optimal Rest

woman sleeping
Photo by Ivan Obolensky on Pexels.com

Before Sleep – The Experts Report Our bodies adjust to light dark cycles so if you’re having trouble sleeping at night you may want to consider making changes to your daily routine:

Exercise – in the morning or afternoon. Avoid exercise in the late evening especially when its dark (absence of sunlight). Exercising after sunset or in the dark can signal your body to become more awake or alert. Exercise is important for a good night’s sleep even if it is a short or long walk in the morning, afternoon or early evening.

Caffeine – The experts report that caffeine can affect your body and disrupt your sleep up to 11 hours after you drink it. This can affect your ability to fall asleep and your ability to stay asleep. If you’re on a daytime work schedule consider stopping all caffeinated beverages at 11 am. Some keen observations of the effects of caffeine backed by science basically report that stimulating the body takes the energy that one ordinarily has and pumps it up leading to an inevitable crash if too much is ingested.

Television, Smartphone or Computer/Tablet use – excites the brain. Sleep experts recommend to stop using these devices at least 2 hours before retiring.

Snacking – Sleep experts recommend that you wait 3 hours after eating to go to sleep for a better night’s sleep. Two factors are implicated in this suggestion. Because your metabolism slows at night our bodies have difficulty digesting food and sleeping. Also there is a nighttime body metabolism at work and eating right before bed can effect this metabolism and disrupt sleeping patterns.

A Technique – If you do sleep poorly and assuming your morning is sunny you can re-set your body clock by sitting in the sun from 40 to 60 minutes soon after you rise.

Sleeping Timing – experts suggest going to sleep at the same time each night. I have observed that this has to do with body memory. Disrupting body memory where we experience a burst of energy hurtling passed our ordinary bedtimes usually comes from caffeine or a late-night snack of sugary foods or refined carbohydrates.

No Alcohol Before Bedtime – I almost did not include this because many people already know that while alcohol can put you to sleep it can often wake you up several times during the night. A drink or a glass of wine or a beer with an early dinner is okay.

Minimize Electrical Gadgets in your Bedroom – a lamp is good with an incandescent bulb and is best for reading and a feeling of warmth. An alarm clock without excessive lights if you need one is okay but not an alarm on your electronic device. Watching television in-bed, surfing the net from your smartphone or tablet is bad for your sleep hygiene. Best to turn off your cell phone or tablet if you are keeping them in your bedroom.

Light and TemperatureYour bedroom should be as dark as possible, no light at all. But if you startle waking-up in a dark room, a light in a different room or a very dim nightlight is okay. If you have equipment such as a CPAP machine prescribed for your sleep then of course that’s okay. Your bedroom should always be slightly on the cool side, in summer and winter. Our body temperatures drop at night and by cuddling with ourselves under the covers we warm to an optimal sleeping temperature.

muse on your day, begin the letting go process

Sleep Position – The best positions for optimal rest and/or sleep is sleeping on your back*, left and / or right side. Sleeping on your back is best for your spine, neck and head less likely to experience pain. It helps lessen acid reflux with your head elevated on a pillow. *People with sleep apnea – sleeping on the back could be dangerous and lead the tongue to block your esophagus. Sleeping on your side is the popular position  and reduces acid reflux. Snoring is reduced as well. Sleep on one’s side are the best positions for those with sleep apnea.

One to Three Hours Before Sleep  – These are nightly rituals, that when I use them, they assist me in getting a better night’s sleep. Admittedly I don’t use them as much as I could. Before you begin Your Wind-Down sit with a pad (not an iPad, Tablet or Smartphone) and make a list of what you want to do tomorrow (if that’s your thing). Writing pen to paper is a way to disconnect from electronics and their effects.

Your Wind-DownBegin with a hot beverage – an herbal tea, or warm milk, or A-Non-Alcoholic-Hot-Toddy-for-Sleep while sitting on your couch or in a favorite chair. As you begin to enjoy your beverage muse on your day, begin the letting go process. I spend at least five to ten minutes feeling the relief of putting the day into perspective and allowing the anticipation of surrender into sleep. Then I may engage in reading a book and / or listening to soft music, though this can also be done after bathroom prep – while in bed.

Bathroom Prep Before Bed and What Remains to do: Next take care of brushing your teeth and all those to-do things before lying down to engage in optimal rest. If you take medications or supplements that aid in you in resting / sleeping more effectively know that there is a 30 to 40-minute period of digestion before they take effect. If you take sleep aides and push yourself beyond the 30 to 40-minute digestive cycle the medications will either be less effective or won’t work at all.

By getting in bed at least during 30 to 40-minute period before closing your eyes, plan on reading, listening to music or doing some breath work, but ideally this should occur after taking medications and/or supplements.

LET GO AND BREATHE

 

Immediate Preparations for Optimal Rest

I may first intend that I will let go into sleep and sleep straight through the night without waking up, feeling refreshed in the morning upon awakening.

background beautiful blossom calm waters
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

These other techniques can be used in preparations just prior to closing your eyes or if sleep doesn’t come.

The Body Clenchthis is a systematic clench of muscle groups and their release in your body. Begin by scrunching up your feet and clenching your toes. Don’t let go. Next tighten your calf and thigh muscles, then tighten your butt muscles, your chest and abdomen. Next make fists and tighten the muscles in your forearms and biceps, stretch your neck by moving your head towards your chest and scrunch up the muscles in your face.

Then LET GO AND BREATHE.

The idea is to make your body tighter so you when you release the tight tense muscles also release and allows your body to move into a more relaxed state.

Don’t beat yourself up because you’re supposed to be sleeping.

Close your Eyes(30 to 40 minutes after taking your medications and/or supplements) When you close your eyes there may be an automatic response for you to think about everything your worried about, or to criticize yourself in some way. Worry may manifest as thinking about something repeatedly (obsessing) – trying to figure it out. Or maybe you’re trying to solve a problem or review something that happened that day.

Let yourself do this for a few minutes. Make it okay. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re supposed to be sleeping even it goes on for five to ten minutes or so. Also you might want to engage in some soothing self-talk such as: “I’m a gentle person”, “I’m applying compassion towards myself first and then others” “I like _____ about myself” or think of a peaceful scene in nature – a sunset over a lake or behind a mountain, floating or flying over fields, seeing waves at the beach.

It’s okay… it’s okay… I’m safe. I can let go.

Then tell yourself that it time to dive deeper into optimal rest.

This process uses your attention to scan your body for any areas where your holding tension and imagine breathing them out (with your out-breath). Let go. Try being soft and easy with yourself as if you were holding an infant in your arms.

Next, focus on your breath. Usually, what happens when we begin to focus on our breath is that we take control. That’s okay. Breathing in this way soon becomes work. When you start to realize that it’s work, then begin to watch your breath as it moves in and out of your body without trying to control it. You’re just matching your thoughts with what’s happening in your body automatically, that can be a lot easier.

I may just practice watching my breath achieving optimal rest

Your mind may wander back to your negative or problem-solving thoughts without you realizing it. If this happens let them go and move back to your witness mind watching your breath. Sometimes a peaceful symbol – like looking at a mountain or waves crashing on a beach can be useful in releasing a worrisome thought. The rhythm of your breath is similar to waves coming to shore. As you imagine your breath like the waves you may feel the peace of waves as you picture them in your mind.

Focus on your breath in this way for at least 20 to 40 minutes. Usually what happens for me is I fall asleep, but I only know this has happened when I awaken the next morning. I realize I have released and fallen asleep.

Sometimes it doesn’t happen and I catch myself on the edge of letting go and pull myself back into a wakeful and circular thought process – a knee-jerk response. Here I may do some soothing self-talk (silently saying to myself):

“It’s okay… it’s okay… I’m safe. I can let go. I can be a deep diver. I can let go. I am letting go, letting go…”

If after 40 minutes to an hour and I’m awake I may just let myself be satisfied with continuing to watch my breath and drop into a deeper level of meditation. Or I may get up and go to the bathroom and return to bed and matching my thoughts with my breath.

Try being softer with yourself. Allow your mind’s awareness to meet the automatic rhythm of your breath. In, out, in, out…

* so far – meaning that as new information for a better sleep hack becomes available it will become an on-going ultimate sleep hack…

goodnight

 

other views of time travel

newscopy

One: Consciousness Displacement in Space-Time

The best and perhaps the only way to time travel without running into paradoxes or strange causality loops is consciousness transfer (And I’m not discussing consciousness travel to occupy or usurp the body of another being as in the science fiction TV series on Netflix: Travelers.). Conscious transfer or more rudimentarily described as remote viewing is the ticket in “time travel”.

Remote viewing is viewing through time-space at something in the distant past or future without leave the present in body/mind.

Consciousness transfer is a little more complicated. A person’s body stays in the present. The person tethers their plasma or spirit body to their physical body and travels backwards or forwards in time-space to observe.

Each of the two modes of time travel into past or future realities exist in observational mode only.

 

Two: Corporeal Bi-Location

Bi-location has been known to exist in a consciousness transfer mode where one person projects their consciousness back in time so that others of that time period see that person.

Corporeal Bi-Location is a process where a human being projects their consciousness along with mind, emotion and their physical body to a different place in space-time – past or future. Ostensibly a person could project themselves into multiple places and interact with others from each of the places they project themselves into.

 

Three: Physical Time Travel

This part is tricky due to linear thinking and the perceptions of history within a time-line.

There are several assumptions that make this kind of time travel possible. Some ideas, not necessarily in order:

  1. We live in a coarse, seemingly cause and effect finite space-time reality (call it C-1)
  2. Bundled around the coarse reality are finite and infinite potential realities that emerge in and out of quantum realities; and these in-turn interact with our coarse reality – the one in which we all seem quite familiar and appears known. Finite realities may exist for as little as one second – as in deja vu or as long as days but they are short lived. Finite Potential Reality FP-1, FP-2 and so on… Infinite Potential Reality IP-1, IP-2 and so on…
  3. Finite realities exist temporarily by definition and can exist in a potential world of Newtonian Physics or in a potential world of Quantum Physics
  4. Finite realities can merge with infinite realities but continue to remain finite whereas Infinite realities can merge with finite realities and become finite realities and this always occurs in Quantum realities. These kinds of mergings happen in the coarse reality but they are either above or below the strata of our perceptual fields.
  5. There are likely an infinite number of quantum realities that surround and permeate us, but it’s likely according to some physicists that there are only nine quanta realities that are bundled around our coarse reality.
  6. Historical events seem contiguous because of the organizing principles of language, thought and reality building known as consensual history, but they are not. The intelligence of infinite and finite realities that wrap around coarse reality shape history as potentialities merging and separating from coarse reality in micro and macro modalities. Illusory elements of thought that construct reality from a narrow bandwidth of the 9 potential realities that intersect our coarse reality are remade into history so as to give the illusion of continuity.

 

We make many assumptions about “The Past” based on a consensus from a certain point of view. We believe that events in “the past” cause events throughout history to end up a certain way in our “present”. We believe that space-time is a thing or process that happens or unfolds naturally. We don’t believe that space-time is alive or has consciousness including thought and emotion as well as an electromagnetic body. To change a past event that will carry through to the present a significant amount of energy in terms of thought, emotion and physical / electromagnetic force must be present during a “past” space-time event. That force must change the coarse reality and all subsequent finite and infinite potential realities to create a new timeline. The old timeline will cease to exist. If there is not enough energy to change a past coarse reality that reality will appear the same in the present.

If John Wilkes Booth was prevented from killing President Lincoln, then Lincoln may have been assassinated by another or died in a different way. Lincoln may have become inconsequential in other events so as not to have impacted history due to the emotional, physical and intellectual presence of space-time in that timeline if a future person attempted to alter history.

Thought, emotion and an enormous physical force must be created to create a new timeline and destroy the old one. To generate the physical force one or more asteroid impacts on earth’s surface or the explosions of many thermonuclear devices coupled with emotion and thought for the timeline to be radically different and let the old one die.

Higher forms of thought are generated by humans, however other mammals such as primates, dolphins, elephants and whales have highly developed emotional-somatic-thought systems, so to exclude them from space-time travel in the bundle of 9 realities plus 1 is arrogant.

 

 

No fooling – The Best Career / Avocation Ever

Purpledaywave

In the beginning…

Ever since I was very young I saw my mission to help relieve suffering in the world. I wanted to be a therapist and work to relieve suffering one person at a time. I studied Psychology in college and received a BA.

I began as a counselor.

In 1990 I received a calling, a mandate from God.

One night before retiring I asked God what I was supposed to do with my life. In the morning I had a waking experience that lead me to a woman that was thinking of killing herself. I listened with acceptance and did not offer advice. I was about to give her the names of therapists and groups to which she replied:

“The universe put you out there to hear my call and that’s all I needed.”

She chose to live and is alive today.

 

Further along…

As a counselor and later as a healer I have encountered peoples’ many personal realities. As a counselor in alternative mental health facilities for over 20 years I learned to listen deeply to others problems.

In the course of that work I began to let go of judgment.

When I felt their helpless I allowed myself to feel helpless with them without necessarily saying anything. Sometimes that appeared to have helped them.

Initiation…

All my life I have had bizarre experiences that have been “out-of-this-world”. I never spoke of them for fear of being condemned and shamed as “crazy” or “weird”.

landscape nature sky person
Gateway into Wonder

When I moved to California in 1982 I felt that the land and the mountains accepted me and that I had arrived home. The east-coast Connecticut Yankee critic in me was very harsh regarding the “foo-foo” impressions and thoughts running through my consciousness at that time. I continued to engage in inner “spiritual” work and observed this new consciousness within me.

In 1984 was a bizarre time for me. I saw light running like blood through trees. I had x-ray vision into my left arm where there was blood pumping there was light. A nearby plant extended its light over that very arm. I decided I was crazy – I closed my eyes and prayed for normalcy. When I opened my eyes, everything returned to normal. For more follow the link: Connection to Nature via the Heart

A couple of months later I moved a pool skimmer that was caught-up on a wave-gutter of a backyard in-ground swimming pool without touching it – for more follow the link: Gateway into the Light

I saw a white-light come from friend’s heart to my heart about 20 feet away. I felt love and the warmth of friendship.

Not normal experiences.

Sacred privilege…

As it has always been with my work as a crisis and half-way house counselor the information shared remains confidential so it is with the many clients I have seen in my healing practice.

loveflameEternity-copy2

Clients have come for a wide array of problems ranging from a concern over future events, physical / disease problems, opening to other worlds and many more. The intimacy I share with people is very sacred to me and I feel honored and blessed to be trusted so. I have found that there is something in me that always has transcended the Connecticut Yankee skeptic and critic inside to completely accept, honor and embrace a person’s reality with kindness and compassion. This has been a great blessing.

Each person brings the gift of their dilemma and with that a teaching for me. This completes a cycle of assisting them to solve a problem or problems while receiving a teaching. The cycle of giving and receiving is completed within each session that in-turn creates many blessings for me and the world at large.

Continually letting acceptance flow from me has taught me to embrace the shadow within, and to apply love and support to the parts of myself that I dislike and fear. The cycle of acceptance is a grace from a higher place where we all long to dwell.

When I complete a session, I feel vulnerable and in a trance of higher vibrational energies. The acceptance spills out imbued with love and compassion to include others throughout the world in a new kind of inclusiveness.

The feelings evoked are indescribably joyous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consciousness and Memory in a Quantum Reality

two multicolored slinky toys

 

Memory Inside

When science describes our brain and memory there seems to be a mechanized reductionism at work.

memory as recall

Science states that memory is stored in our brain, specifically at the synaptic transfer between neurons. When we experience something new, new synapses are formed as a part of making new memories.

What if the reverse is true?

Memory is retrieved through our brains, our body and emotions from memories in constant flux in what we have previously referred to as “the past”. Even memories in “the future” are available to us but the constraints of language and the misperceptions of time create blocks to so-called future memories.

there is no past

Could all memories, including our own be everywhere?

 

Recall Waves

Better to re-frame memory as recall.

Our attachment to the concept of memory as originating in “the past” is so strong and our automatic response to the concept of memory is rarely questioned. Past and future are illusory because recall of the past “in the past” is present as recollections of past events. There is no past. Recall of “the future” never happens because the technology of our written and spoken language dissects relationships into distinct packets of information, subject / nouns, descriptors / adjectives, actions / verbs. The English language is based on separation of objects / nouns linked by change agents / verbs. This way of organizing language is coordinated with the actions of linear space-time namely – past, present and future. The idea that future events could be recalled as memories is alien to us – it is fantasy or science-fiction because future and past are objectified and separated based on the invisible technology of language.

We are thinking of the present as a pass-through point, so it becomes just as illusory as past or future.

Since “the past” does not exist and is really a continuous wave of the present and the future doesn’t exist either because it belongs to one continuous wave of energy.

 

An Exploratory Venture into Recall of the Continuous Wave of Presenting

Our attachment to “the past” and objectifying all that we experience makes recall of past memories easy to see as events as we experience in them in the present. When we approach experiencing “the future” in the same way we experience “the past” blocks automatically appear.

Present-ing

The problem isn’t with “the past” or “the future”, its with “the present”. The present isn’t static. We are thinking of the present as a pass-through point, so it becomes just as illusory as past or future. Instead of past, present and future we are in one continuous presenting wave that includes what we have previously separated into past, future and present.

most spoken and written languages are predicated on separation

Present-ing as a continuous wave makes the past and the future irrelevant and taken one step further makes the singularity of human experience backwards and non-relevant. We think of ourselves as separate from other selves and from others in the present-ing wave. Even our human life from birth to death is experienced as separate from death or an unknown or other lives – as in past lives, future lives etc.

Its logical that many humans do not experience a daily reality based on oneness and compassion due to the perceptual filters of separation.

All human life as perceived through most spoken and written languages are predicated on separation. Other forms built on language within the civilization construct support separation such as, the patriarch epoch, ownership, monetized trade, social classes, religions, democracy, communism, fascism and capitalism to name a few. The nature of separation besides strengthening strong egos and rugged individualism are reinforced through a variety of structures within civilization as listed above. The perception of separation through the tech of language are extensions of the technology of language and its perceptual off-shoots of linear space-time. Language rewires the neocortex to perceive the interactive world as separate and inflates an egocentric position of separation creating a circular reinforcing dynamic with almost all structures within civilization. Civilization is a co-conspirator with language to reinforce the separation reality.

Stepping out of separation into a “present-ing wave” reveals the real-world expressing consciousness through the screeners of separation and through the oneness of love and compassion. Its logical that many humans do not experience a daily reality based on oneness and compassion due to the perceptual filters of separation. Instead there may be holes in the fabric of separation dynamic where a larger reality or consciousness breaks through much like sunlight appearing to breakthrough cloud cover.

We are this wider reality or greater consciousness being expressed through the perceptual filters of ego and separation. In short separation and ego are illusion and stand in the way of what we already have – happiness, fulfillment, oneness and enlightenment.

Present-ing is experienced in two modes: 1. Separation is released in the moment to experience a greater consciousness that does not make sense under the rules of separation reality; and 2. Love and compassion are experienced as a transcendent experience to the Oneness that supports separation consciousness.

 

Memory in the context of released separation

In this mode our experience is one where magic or an “ah-ha” is felt.

Writers, artists and entrepreneurs that seemingly “come up with a brilliant idea” only to find that someone else has already completed, the novel, the painting, the movie or the product already.

When I was fifteen years old I wrote a short story about a group of scientists that boarded a small submarine that was miniaturized and injected into the President of the United States to repair a valve in his heart. A week later Life Magazine published Isaac Asimov’s “Fantastic Voyage” with photographs from the film. I felt immediately angered – thinking he had robbed me of my ideas until I realized that he must have conceived of the idea long before I had thought of it.

Then where did my story originate? I concluded that his idea and my idea came from a collective consciousness.

Around the same age I had had a dream where my sister and I were in a town along the coast of Connecticut. There was a storm and flooding. I broke into the basement of a church hall that had been converted into a museum where we could have shelter from the storm.

Three weeks later we (my father, mother, sister and me) visited the church in Stonington, Connecticut on the shore by the Long Island Sound. It was a museum inside. My father asked me where the bathroom was. I gave him complicated instructions on how to get there. He told me that I knew where it was because I had been there. I said – “No, I just know.” My father didn’t believe in anything but math, science and engineering. He found the bathroom where I had said it was.

The practice of quieting the mind may lead to a feeling of peace.

In the 1990s I had an idea to make turnip, parsnip, yam and sweet potato chips after having deep-fried up a few batches. This would be a good business to get into. Three months later I was in a upscale supermarket and found a manufacturer had already made these kinds of chips. I told myself it was not a good idea to turn all my ideas into businesses because; where’s the fun in that?

Picking a shared idea or having a premonition from a dream are examples of memory in the context of released separation. They happen to all of us spontaneously from time to time.

 

Memories of the future

Memories of presenting…

Since the future is an illusion and we can begin to experience time as present-ing then memories can begin to expand into a lifetime of the present-ing experience.

recall of experiences from an on-going present-ing or a wave of time that has no beginning and no end

In meditation mindfulness is the vehicle to quieting the mind. The practice of quieting the mind may lead to a feeling of peace. A continuing practice begins to peel back the layers of our stream of consciousness whose content is one of whim and attachment. The illusion of ego and separateness begins to fall away revealing the being that resides in each of us. Love and compassion remain when the mind continues to be quieted. The layers of enlightenment touch the practitioner or stated in another way we experience enlightening, loving, peacing and compassioning.

A question

Just as we experience our fingers and choose to wave our fingers is our mind / consciousness everywhere choosing to wave the life that we find ourselves in?

 

Recall, Presenting and Reincarnation

Recall or accessing memories of past, parallel and future more aptly put recall of experiences from an on-going present-ing or a wave of time that has no beginning and no end. Recall of experiences from present-ing in a cyclical or spiral frame (with end or beginning) could originate from the whole of consciousness or a being living in a cycle or reincarnation.

If there is a being enlightenment consciousness that incarnates along a present-ing continuum to experience finite lifetimes then our smaller ego selves have the possibility of rarely feeling alone or separated from consciousness.


Present-ing – is an on-going present wave. By changing present from a static state of “the present” to an continuously renewing on-going wave of energies present-ing becomes a regenerative word. Present-ing fills birth to death. Once birth and death become meaningless by a Consciousness Being living everywhere outside of time then present-ing in a finite biological body becomes more palliative.

 

 

 

 

 

Free Will Does Not Exist

black chain

 

There is no free will.

 

But we live under the illusion

that we have free will.

 

However, there is a possibility of exercising free will. Many readers will balk at these pronouncements because they have never questioned the assumptions that proclaim that will is free.

 

The purpose of this article is three-fold:

  1. How is it that there is no free will?
  2. How do we come to believe that we have free will?
  3. A possible way out of entrapped will.

 

The Current Understanding of Free Will

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines free will:

: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

The definition above seems true and it leaves out basic and invisible assumptions we all make about ourselves. These assumptions mask universal truths about human nature and create illusions that we are acting from a place of free will. Once we begin to understand that free will is bound by illusions we can work to move beyond these fantasies to a place where acts of free will can be created. It’s not easy to embark on a path to create an act of will, free of the past.

 

The Blocks that Prevent the Exercise of Free Will

There are two invisible illusions that are pernicious examples that block the exercise of free will, one is historical and the second is habitual. These responses stem from non-original thought for the most part.

I rebelled against their belief

Historical

Our familial heritage in which beliefs are formed over generations is a major block to free will. Belief belongs to a set of assumptions based on mental representations where likelihoods are perceived to be true. Our parents teach us their beliefs. They teach in conscious and unconscious ways.  Embedded within parental or familial beliefs are behaviors of a parent in arrays of pre-determined thought and action. Even when we notice a rebellious behavior father against his father’s belief – that rebelliousness is a kind of slavery. Taking up an opposite belief (as a rebellion) is a reaction to a belief and is not free. Our for-bearers learned beliefs and behaviors under the wing of their parents and their grandparents to the beginnings of civilization.

Habits of mind are only one kind of habit.

There are other kinds of beliefs that may blend with mentally formed beliefs. It may be that all beliefs are imbued with emotion fixing each belief. In-turn mental-emotional beliefs are held in our bodies or brains and as such become part of the physical of somatic systems of our being. It is this complex configuration of belief that is transmitted generationally.

Other adopted beliefs may come from peers who in-turn have learned conscious and unconscious beliefs from their parents and so on…

Habitual

Even more insidious than the heritage of belief are habits. A habit – Merriam-Webster dictionary defines – “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary”. Habits become increasing useful as a shorthand to operating in complex modern, social and technological environments. It could be quite easily argued that the learned habit of driving a car with a manual transmission (gearbox) would be cumbersome and unsafe if we had to think of each step to execute the behaviors. A habit of blurting-out an opinion besides being impulsive could be evidence of falling victim to a kind of slavery thus eradicating free will. Habits of mind are only one kind of habit. Somatic memory where all habits are recorded at least partially whether they are deemed good or bad is a repository for habits created in the mind, by emotions and/or in bodily actions.

Beliefs are both consciousness and unconscious.

The phrase “being on automatic” relates to following a particular habit automatically. Simple examples of this is missing an exit on the freeway due to distracted thinking and/or spacing out (mild dissociative thinking).

When beliefs and habits interact then a few processes may be occurring simultaneously. Responding by rote may be occurring or in the modern vernacular – reacting from a place of “sleep”. When rote or “sleep” responses occur, there is rarely any reflection on our behaviors. We may become locked into a personal dogma or orthodoxy that is specific to our habitual response derived from belief.

Beliefs are both consciousness and unconscious. Unconscious beliefs may run through a variety of filters that may include and are not necessarily limited to: bias, prejudice, bigotry, racism, sexism; and while not a complete list, these may also be unconscious. When conscious and unconscious beliefs meet habitual responses especially if little or no reflection or contemplation is involved then free choice gets buried under more prior causes.

In our current stage of evolution there is no original thought

Prior causes of beliefs and habits learned and adopted make it easier to dismiss them while focusing on smaller contexts of our lives. We don’t see the prior causes of beliefs and habits because we choose to believe we have free choice and free will without any self-examination.

 

Patterns of Thought

All human thought is associative in its pattern. A thought is associated with another in a string of binary thoughts. The more complex ordering of thought such as deductive and inductive logic arise from binary associative thought. Binary associative thinking can be parsed into many subsets of complex patterned thought. Thought like written language is also linear following a logic of beginning, middle and end.

it’s very easy get distracted by the flow of tangential and or distracting thoughts

In our current stage of evolution there is no original thought for the most part. This is not to say that the recycled patterns of thought are not creative. They are creative but within the constrictive patterns of non-original thought in an associative binary stream in a linear space-time reality. According to the ancient Bhagavad Gita 200 BCE in the cyclical history of epochs or Yugas current human thought is mostly recycled thinking.

black and white photo of clocks
Habit within the illusion of linear-space/time

Ideas such as Jung’s Collective Unconscious as well as an electromagnetic depository of all recycled thinking (Collective Consciousness) is often easily accessible by artists, writers and the like. Binary associative thought within the collective consciousness of non-original thought is always available to us from our stream of consciousness. In the stream of consciousness thought may be verbal, pictorial or emotional with combinations thereof. We tap into our own stream which may be running continuously. However, when we tap into the stream it’s very easy get distracted by the flow of tangential and or distracting thoughts. Many people get caught in their stream of consciousness when we close our eyes at night and our attention may be diverted into the stream and this may keep us awake.

At the very core of our existence, inside each of us is what Buddhist philosophy and other spiritual traditions describe as the true self or essence.

Within our essence is our true self, happiness and enlightenment. Quieting the mind and working on detaching from the constant stream of consciousness produced by a fragmented ego allows original thought to emerge. Quieting the mind also allows us to detach from both our own stream and the collective stream of consciousness.

Modern peoples have forgotten or ignored the inner world of happiness in favor of the pull of the external world. Ego, society and the tech of language paints the illusory world of linear time of past present and future and the erroneous belief that happiness is out there.

 

Living under the Illusion of Free Will

This simple answer to the question of why we believe we have free will – because we have been told. We have been schooled that free will exists. The cultural meta-rules continually imply that we have free will and that it is a right.  Free Will is therefore an assumption that is rarely questioned and so it stands.

Could be argued that if free will does not exist then “is everything pre-determined?” I don’t ascribe to an either /or oppositional philosophy of will or choice. The lack of free will does not necessarily mean a pervasive predetermination exists. There are other possibilities. Language and thought loves to project meaning onto everything – a desire for order and safety? perhaps. There are other possibilities about the nature of the world without the existence of free will.

It’s much more likely that human culture bumbles along in a mechanistic manner in a world of hazard and accident. As frightening as this might be the illusion that we have free will protects us from this possibility.

Individuals that have attained a modicum of Mastery could access free will for a creative act based on nothing (no previous influences). Masters or realized elders may have prevented human civilization from destroying itself. This can be supposed and requires a leap beyond current recycled thought in modern science.

background beautiful blossom calm waters

A way out or Moving towards Mastery and Free Will

The path towards creating an act of will free from all past influences is impossible for most everyone due to fragmented egos. Everyone has a fragmented ego in part having to do with contradictory actions and beliefs that we hide from ourselves. Ego is a manager of daily events and yet assumes control over everything – this is illusion. Moving out of the illusions of ego (without destroying ego) towards Mastery is a challenging aim. This is an extremely difficult path which requires constant work. Ninety-nine percent of the human population are incapable of this kind of rigorous work despite a temporary desire to pursue such work.

The traditional path of this work is seeking a teacher. In the 20th century seeking a teacher may have faded from favor and have been replaced by schools or “mystery schools” that may have a cultish quality. Some now have mistakenly perceived that “a book spoke to me” and believe is enough to begin the work towards mastery (this is the hanky-panky of ego at play).

 

Conclusions

In the Bhagavad Gita the Yugas are explored. While there is some disagreement about the mathematical calculations of the length of each Yuga it’s clear that humans at this stage of evolutionary development are not on a path of mastery.

The largest body of “evidence” is both the lack of original thought and humans’ irresponsible actions regarding thought itself.

First, thought and emotion cannot be separated. Most human thought is recycled from a collective consciousness that is streamed collectively and individually. When a human in a higher vibrational environment (such as a less violent nation) recycles a negative thought where fear / anger and acting out ideas associated with these negative thoughts – that are not acted upon – these thoughts go to a chaotic environment where they are acted upon.

For example: a man driving in traffic is thoughtlessly cut off by another man in traffic. A fearful / angry response – reaction occurs. Swearing may ensue. Then the emotion / desire for revenge and/or justice fades. Under the rubric of collective consciousness that thought is recycled somewhere in the world where a chaotic lower vibrational realm flourishes – such as a “war zone”. A person in a lower vibrational world acts out this recycled thought.

Since humans in the particular Yuga we find ourselves in are not even aware that they are participating in collective recycled thinking. In effect we as humans are not-responsible for something in which we are unaware. In short, we are not evolved enough to realize that we participate in recycled thinking. This is part of the illusion of free will.

The proliferation of internet platforms such as social media have accelerated the effects of recycled thought to action. Fear of change has become exacerbated world-wide by the Internet’s viral messages and videos spreading through panic, terrors and rage. Hate is spread and is fomented into violence as in the recent murders / terrorism in New Zealand (March 2019).

By practicing care in our thought-patterns we can begin to rise out of recycled thought towards a path of free will. One way of practicing care in our thought patterns is noticing our anger or rage as it arises in us. We can then tell ourselves that we are angry because we have been afraid. We can soothe the fear / anger in ourselves perhaps changing the loose-end of thought – thus preventing it and our accompanying emotion from manifesting in a lower vibration environment such as a war zone.

It may start with you and me – calming fear to anger thoughts to prevent their manifestation elsewhere – in lower vibrational worlds. Most will call this nonsense, but the science of quantum physics is beginning to transform the patterns of recycled thinking into something new.

 

 

 

 

 

Learning and Transformation Part 2 of 4

wooden dock on body of water

Struggle

Introduction

Most of us look at struggle as one or more odious tasks that must be completed on a regular basis. Our bias is a dislike of struggle. Psychological theory tells us that humans are pleasure seeking or at least avoidant of displeasure. The dislike of struggle builds a resistance to which our physical body is a receptacle for this tension.

The purpose of struggle is creating energy

Besides dislike, resistance to struggle is the second rationale to let odious tasks lay fallow and undone.

 

The Physical Body

Our physical or corporeal bodies represent a bank where all habits that we deem as good or bad are held in deposit ready for our use. When we are younger we tend to ride roughshod over the limits our body presents us with by employing our intellect and our will. A youthful body is quite flexible growing and changing. A plateau of growth is reached in middle age. Entropy accelerates with increasing age.

man wearing black shorts

Without seeking truth, a higher ideal or employing inner work we may, using our dominant processing facilities; our prefrontal cortex/ cognitive brain to ignore and/or objectify our body as a projection of our minds. If we follow this rational to the exclusion of somatic knowing then we may miss the memories our body holds and the wisdom therein. We may also miss the speed in which our body learns and remembers actions especially gross physical actions such as riding a bicycle, dance steps or hang-gliding for example. By allying body memory with a neutral cognitive observer learning motion-oriented activities can be accelerated. Our culture is overly focused on the actions produced in the prefrontal cortex so body knowing is often discounted or objectified. This constitutes a loss and produces illusions that the cognitive self or ego uses to obfuscate somatic knowing and memory.

The battle between “yes” and “no”

Many memories that are forgotten, suppressed or repressed are recorded in the body and may never enter consciousness or may return to consciousness as isolated or fragmented snapshots of memory. Almost all experiences are recorded by the body and may be recalled as memories through associative thinking. Associative recall includes memories of actions that have become habits stored in body memory. When we execute habits our conscious attention recalls the actions stored in body memories which flits across our cognitive realms. Body memory associated with olfaction and other sensory organs allow quick access to our to interpretative cognitive faculties.

The Core of Struggle

All struggle is felt on a physical level via stress, anxiety and ending with resistance because we dislike and sometimes loathe struggle. The backstop of struggle is the physical body. Struggle itself is the battle between “Yes” and No”.

The third force in a battle of opposites is invisible.

The purpose of struggle is creating energy, but most of us get caught in a battle between “Yes” and “no” or the back and forth of dislike versus like. The result of this dichotomous battle depletes us so that no energy is created or goes unnoticed and is wasted.

Cultivation of the neutral observer is key

The battle between “yes” and “no” like any fight between opposites must have an out or endless squabbling is the unresolved end result. This is the nature of compromise. However most struggles don’t create energy are analogous to obsessive thinking patterns or circular thought. The third force in a battle of opposites is invisible. Just as atoms contain many waves and/or particles there are positively charged particles, negatively charged particles and particles that have no charge. The no-charge position could be referred to as neutral.

woman wearing red hat and sunglasses

Cultivation of the neutral observer is key to recognizing the struggle between “yes” and “no” and the energy that is created. Energy that is is created once recognized is usually spent by the automatic process of habit. If the energy is saved then it may be used for further work in effective struggle.

Using the body as a starting point to cultivate the neutral is a way to dispassionately observe our self

Effective struggle begins with noticing its effects in how our bodies react to the battle between “yes” and “no”. If the neutral observation of struggle is not observed in the body then the mind / ego makes the struggle into illusion and fantasy. Detaching struggle from the body where ultimately all struggle is felt and remembered somatically allows the experience to float into the illusory “likes” of the mind/ego allowing whim and tangential / associative thought to run wild without a grounding to the body.

Autogenic Training is the place to begin cultivate the neutral within ( see End Notes below).

Using the body as a starting point to cultivate the neutral is a way to dispassionately observe our self and begin to gain information without opinion or judgment attached. As information is gathered and struggle observed then energy may be tracked and utilized more effectively in our quest for truth and evolution in consciousness into higher realms.

 

Guidelines for work with Struggle

  1. Remember that struggle is felt in the body. Staying in the present moment is important in working with Struggle because our physical bodies exist only in the present.
  2. Any beginning in the work with Struggle is best done with simple acts of the body. Without working from the body struggle becomes lost in an intellectual exercise or emotional fantasy of the past and future and is lost in terms of its ability to generate energy.
  3. Most of our awareness in the present moment is caught up in attachment. This awareness cannot aide in the work with Struggle.
  4. Choose a simple action-oriented task to in which to struggle. Organize struggle, in other words keep it simple don’t take on too much. Be persistent. Repeat the struggle often.
  5. Do your best. This is especially important when we experience doubt.
  6. Let go of regret when you experience failure. Regret and analysis of regrets removes us from the present moment and can become a trap.
  7. Emotions change, intellect is often wild jumping from one topic to the next. By employing Autogenic Training, we can allow a neutral territory for out body to grow in knowledge.*

 

Some Notes

Learning and struggle belong to the mundane realms of linear reality and work. Work effectively and advancement can be expected given a relationship with a Teacher, guide or instructor.

 

 

END NOTES:

*Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 37-38, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.

for further reading: A Primer – Autogenic Training

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